Castle of Barletta
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BARLETTA

Situated in the Southern part of the Manfredonia Barletta Gulf, it links its existence to the Adriatic Sea.

In fact, it developed as a Canosa port during the Roman era, known as Bardulos or Barulum, even though its true origin dates back a few hundred centuries previously, as demonstrated by finds of a Apulo settlement (4th Century).
During the Second Punic War, the Carthaginian General Hannibal, heavily defeated the Roman army in Canne (Cannae) (216 BC) on its territory.
Today, one can still see some of the remains of Canne (Cannae) which was destroyed by Robert Guiscard during the 12th Century.
Barletta therefore developed as the port of Canosa for the entire Roman period and during the 4th Century the wharf was constructed and which still remains today.
With the spread of Christianity, the first cult building was erected and from 584 to 590, Barletta gained part of the citizenship of Canosa, in escape from the decline in Italy of the Longobards.
Having passed hands to Constantinople with the Greek-Gothic War (535-553) and included in the Western estates, Barletta, like all of Puglia, knew a period of recession in addition to continuous clashes between the Longobards and Byzantines and Saracen raids, who arrived via the Mediterranean Sea and neighbouring Sicily and which they conquered during the IXth Century.
The Normans then participated in the clashes, firstly at mercenaries at the service of the Longobards and then as escort of the faithful in visit to the religious centres in Puglia. They then took on a political role gaining rights over the territory which led to a progressive conquest of the region (first half of the 11th Century).
With the advent of the Crusades (12th and 13th Century), Barletta became a stopover for the Crusaders on their long journey to the Holy Land, as also happened to the Emperor Federick II, who before leaving, reunited Parliament of the Barons (1228).
Previously Barletta obtained the title it of City from Tancredi d'Altavilla and became an Episcopal Seat (1190) at the hand of the Archbishop of Nazareth, in escape from the Muslims.
The fall of the Swabians at the hand of the Angioini, for Barletta coincided with a period of maximum economic development, due to strong commercial growth with the East. This was supported by a large fleet of commercial transport ships (14th and 15th Centuries).
The City saw the coronation of Ferdinand I of Aragon on 4th February 1459.
With the return of the French and the inevitable clashes with the Spanish, Barletta was protagonist of one of the most famous clashes of the time: the Disfida di Barletta (Challenge of Barletta). There were 13 Italian Cavaliers, commanded by Ettore Fieramosca on the Spanish side against 13 French ones captained by Guy de La Motte, culprits who had denigrated the value of the Italian military. The clash took place between Corato and Ruvo in Puglia and saw a French defeat (13th February 1503).
In 1528, French troops, commanded by Lautrec, besieged the City, which couldn’t resume its previous stance, also due to earthquakes and pestilence which plagued it during the 17th Century. It wasn’t until later when it adhered to the Republic of Naples and then joined the Reign of Italy (1860) that it began to have new life.
During the Second World War, the City was honoured and awarded the Gold Medallion of Military Valour.
Today, Barletta is a seaside touristic locality of great importance, with equipped lidos, but its artistic patrimony is undeniable: the magnificent Swabian Castle built on the wishes of Federick II during the 13th Century, the Romanesque Basilica of Saint Sepolcro, the Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral and its beautiful historical centre, where one can admire noble buildings and walk through the Medieval district.
An unquestioned symbol of the City is however the Eraclio Colossus, a bronze statue from the Roman period which incredibly has remained intact until now, depicting the Emperor Valentiniano I or Marciano.
On the outskirts of Barletta one can visit Canne della Battaglia, the area where the Carthaginians and Romans battled during 215 BC.

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BARLETTA
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